Siena College's Student Newspaper

Opinion

Journalism Has Drastically Changed

As a little girl, I always fantasized about being the reporter who travels the world and exposes unknown issues. The reporter that puts her life on the line to get the story that will truly shake the world. However, journalism has rapidly changed in recent years, and there aren’t many investigative reporters traveling overseas, writing hard-hitting stories like there used to be. Despite the fact that journalists provide vital information to the public, the job has gotten a lot of criticism recently, especially with President Trump in office. 

I always wanted to write about topics that matter. But, it appears as though people would rather read about the Kardashians than politics or something that could directly affect them. That’s why journalism has changed: it’s because our interests have. I am guilty of this as well. There have been too many times where I find myself scrolling past important news regarding updates in U.S. politics, and instead read a long article about a famous person I adore. Now, I’m not saying there is anything wrong with writing about society’s elite, hair products, or anything else that isn’t necessarily going to alter our lives completely. But, there is something inherently wrong in the fact that we care about those topics 10x more than articles discussing war, the president, the condition of our country, etc. All types of journalism are important and we should recognize that.

Siena had a panel with five journalists come in and speak to us and at the end they were asked, “would you recommend this career to current students?” Not one of them said yes. It wasn’t because they didn’t love their job, but because of how bad the media is represented now and how much journalism has changed. Future journalists simply wouldn’t get the same experience they did. I remember most of them saying that they have spent years in different countries for their work uncovering corruption that was occurring there, but the majority of jobs in journalism aren’t like that anymore. I remember thinking that was my dream job, but by the end my hope was slightly crushed. 

The media has also gotten an extremely bad reputation in recent years. The public considers the media “an enemy of the people” now. This hatred is fueled by President Trump which greatly influences the public’s opinion. And, of course, we can’t forget about biased news. Yes, some news networks do lean in an obvious political direction, but as my Communication 101 textbook said, we cannot eliminate all bias because a lot of the time it’s not intentional. With this being said, I do think a simple way to rid of the bias around the media would be to do a better job at presenting the information without incorporating personal beliefs. But, this goes both ways, if you think a particular network is biased, then expand your horizon. Watch news that is said to be right and left, so you can accurately form your own opinion. Or maybe just a network that doesn’t have a lot of stigmas attached. 

Lastly, print newspapers are dying. News that is presented on TV or Snapchat shows attracts a lot more attention than a local print newspaper. This scares me because writing is my passion, something that I want to pursue, but newspapers have had to cut down on staff greatly in recent years. Now it’s more likely that reporters are broadcasters on television than writers. However, newspapers have been adapting to the changing times by moving online, which attracts a significantly larger audience. 

Overall, when I get into the field journalism will probably look different than it does today. This is because it’s widely based on the public’s interests and needs, which are always changing. Just because it is different doesn’t necessarily mean journalism will die as a whole, maybe just the version I thought about as a child.